PIONEERING POLLENIZE CONSERVATION PROJECT LAUNCHES
Leading local conservation CIC, Pollenize, has launched a new environmental project at Sherford, to make the town a beacon of biodiversity. Combining cutting-edge technology and community engagement, the project aims to boost the diversity of plant and animal life – and serve as a national example of best practice.
Pollenize has created a biodiversity programme that enables continuous improvements to land, using a tracking tool called ‘Floradex’, built with the University of Plymouth. Harnessing people power – by working with local community volunteers – a series of ‘Bioblitz’ surveys take place to identify local flora and fauna, which are recorded in an app. Pollenize uses the data to spot any gaps in biodiversity and create tailored seed prescriptions to help the environment flourish.
The first two Bioblitz surveys have taken place at Sherford, with a group of adults and children working alongside the Pollenize team to capture 777 observations of 186 different species of plants and animals in Sherford’s Country Park. More surveys will follow to build a full picture of the area’s ecology, before Pollenize analyses the findings and recommends how to bolster biodiversity and make Sherford even greener.
The new town of Sherford has already won awards for its approach to sustainability and work to enhance and enrich the landscape. The Sherford Consortium – a partnership between award-winning national housebuilders, Taylor Wimpey & Vistry Group, which includes Countryside Partnerships, Linden Homes and Bovis Homes – saw the potential of the project with Pollenize to take Sherford’s commitment to ecology to the next level.
This is one of the biggest Floradex projects that Pollenize – the Plymouth-based pollinator CIC – has undertaken to date. It plans to use the results achieved at Sherford – which is one of the most ambitious residential developments in the UK – to encourage other businesses, developers and land-owners to sign up to the pioneering programme.
Owen Finnie, Co-Founder of Pollenize, said: “Floradex is such an exciting programme, combining community rewilding and scientific research to protect pollinators and the planet. Not only does it offer huge potential for land-owners and developers to boost biodiversity, but it is extremely rewarding for communities to take part in citizen science and improve the environment. The project at Sherford is off to a great start and we are confident it will make the development, already known for its sustainability credentials, into a national example of biodiversity best practice.”
Paul Moran, Managing Director of Vistry South West, part of the Sherford Consortium, said: “As well as being one of the largest new community developments in the South West, Sherford is also set to be one of the most ecologically diverse locations in the region. The town has been designed to echo and enhance the landscape, with a 500 acre Country Park full of woodland, wildflower meadows and wetlands, plus 170 acres of new wildlife habitats. The Pollenize project is a great opportunity to work with an innovative conservation organisation and Sherford residents to make the plentiful green space as biodiverse as possible.”
Peter Sadler, Managing Director of Countryside Partnerships South West, part of the Sherford Consortium, added, “Even before the first brick was laid at Sherford, over £1m had been invested in ecology initiatives and a huge amount more work and investment has followed since then – with much more to come in the years ahead. Sherford has already gained international recognition and awards for its approach to sustainability and we hope that the results of the Pollenize project not only make a positive difference to this community, but go one to inspire and influence others.”
Discover more about Pollenize at www.pollenize.org.uk
Image credit: UpArt Photography